Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Who's the Real Puppet?

“I’m sorry, Jim.  I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS.  I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too [to moderator Jim Lehrer],” he said to Mr. Lehrer. “But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it,” Mitt Romney, Oct. 4, 2012 Presidential Debate.

With less than a month to go until the presidential elections, with a scandal and a cover-up involving a dead U.S. ambassador and unheeded requests for increased security at the Libyan embassy, with the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt, with Syria’s dictator Assad murdering thousands of Syrians, with the whole Middle East about to go up in flames, with our economy still teetering on the brink despite an amazing unemployment report that, for the first time in history, shows a decrease in unemployment, a deficit of $1.1 trillion, why are we having this conversation about a big, yellow puppet?

Why aren’t we having a conversation about the Government Accountability Institute’s 109-page report on allegations of campaign donor fraud in the Obama campaign?  Maybe we aren’t having the conversation because Obama is the real puppet.  Perhaps that’s why he couldn’t deliver any good counter-arguments to Mitt Romney’s more credible assertions that he can turn our economy around.

Big Bird knows more about making money than Obama does.  Big Bird may have started out on the public dole, but according to Peter Grier, of, our feathered friend and his pals on Sesame Street now only receive about 8 percent of their total budget from the government.  Sesame Street’s total budget is $130 million.  That’s a lot of bird seed, only $10.4 million of which comes from the taxpayer.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes PBS (Public Broadcasting System) under its wing, receives $445 million in taxpayer support.  That money brings us a lot of great English programming like Downington Abbey (an update of the old Upstairs, Downstairs series) and Foyle’s War, about a British detective in World War II.  Some of PBS’ money comes from corporate grants as well.  Yes, those evil corporations who are playing us for suckers provide us with some of the best programming running through the cables, hardly any of which is produced in America.

Sesame Street, according to Grier, receives 35 percent of its funding from private, corporate, and public (government) grants.  The rest is station fees, and merchandising.   Another 33 percent comes from product licensing and 32 percent comes from distribution fees and royalties.  The government’s role actually is all that great.  In other words, Big Bird is more than capable of taking care of himself.1

The GAI report tells us how much money Obama has received from private donors.  Quite a bit, it seems.  In 2008, he raised over $335 million in donations.  Supposedly, he has outspent Romney in this campaign by $200 million.  The report tells us that credit card thieves steal your credit number – not the card itself, just the number – and use it to make donations to Obama’s campaign.  People may have charges on their card and thieves depend upon consumers to not do due diligence and check their credit card statements each month.

Yet, the president spent some of that money defending Big Bird in a recent campaign commercial, which was very funny, but a needless distraction.  Adults should be paying more attention to how Sesame Street was created and what the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds besides Sesame Street and Jim Lehrer’s program.

Obama is no one to talk about a feathered puppet who worked his way off of public welfare.  He has his own explaining to do and less than 30 days to do it.  It’s time to let poor Big Bird get back to his job of teaching kids their ABCs and time for Obama to explain how he’s feathered his own nest.






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